Job Search Checklist #13: Superior vs commodity branding

Nov 27 2012 in Featured, reCareered Blog, social branding by Phil Rosenberg

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You don’t want to admit it … you may not even realize it, but you probably brand yourself as a commodity.

How could you brand yourself as a commodity but not even realize it?

Branding yourself as a commodity is how you were taught to write your resume – so you think what you’re doing is the right thing. If you realized that what you were taught guided you to brand yourself to look just like everyone else, you probably wouldn’t do it.

… but you probably don’t realize it.

Instead, you want to brand yourself as a superior candidate, to differentiate yourself as the candidate who has already solved similar problems to the hiring manager’s priorities.

You think you’re already branding yourself as a superior candidate, when you’re really branding yourself as a commodity.

… because no one’s taught you how to recognize the difference.

Until today.

Review the examples below of branding yourself as a commodity and as a superior candidate so you can see what you’re doing now. You’ll also see the difference between both brands.

Examples Of Branding Yourself As A Commodity:

  • Developed Sales and Marketing materials and implemented an Internet sales program utilizing search engine marketing
  • Recruited and trained a sales team and developed sales materials
  • Managed clinical oversight and instituted patient care plans for 34-bed unit
  • Conducted training for 12 new staff members
  • Generating new business through prospecting and strategic partnerships
  • Managed five year capital plan – Analyzed NPV on current/ future projects to prioritize and develop strategic vision for the station aligning it with the corporate initiatives
  • Direct monthly accounting functions, including accruals, general ledger, balance sheet reconciliation, AR/ AP and cash management – Presented the monthly/ quarterly variances to the executive team
  • Revitalized staff culture/attitude towards positive lasting change
  • Managed $500M annual budget with a team of three managers and 40 individuals

Notice the similarities in the above examples. They all describe the candidate on an average day. The above examples don’t describe the value provided or results achieved. They focus on the day-to-day activities of the job, underselling the candidate.

You don’t have to undersell yourself.

Instead, incorporate examples of you at your best by adapting the superior branding examples below into your resume.

Examples Of Branding Yourself As A Superior Candidate:

  • Negotiated and signed multiple service agreements (Insurance, banking, legal and payroll) – Generated over 50% cost reduction
  • Increased new store sales by 150%, achieving the highest results in over 25 years
  • Developed a sales training program for sales staff that increased sales by 30%
  • Training and mentoring new employees for Chicago team while continuing to develop my book of business: team achieved 108% of quota
  • Demonstrated YoY growth of 95% in 1st year revenue generation
  • Guided several grant applications to statewide and national funding sources, resulting in awards to faculty totaling over $300K
  • Achieved cost savings of $750K from improved warehouse efficiency – incorporated 30% of the staff in other aspects of the business

Notice the similarities in the superior branding examples. Each example demonstrates the candidate at their best, demonstrates results and shows how important each accomplishment was to the employer.

Of course, these examples were from individual candidate resumes, describing their own backgrounds. Don’t expect that you’ll be able to just lift these examples and plop them into your resume.

The intent of these examples is to give you ideas of how to frame your own background, incorporating concepts from the above examples into your resume.

Now that you’ve seen the differences between commodity branding vs superior branding, if you still brand yourself as a commodity you no longer have the excuse about not realizing it … or not knowing the difference.

So how will you brand yourself going forward?


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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